Summary: H.R.4142 — 99th Congress (1985-1986)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4142. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (02/06/1986)

General Aviation Tort Reform Act of 1986 - Amends the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to provide uniform rules for negligence and products liability claims arising from general aviation accidents. Allows any person claiming damages from such an accident to bring a products liability action against the general aviation manufacturer if: (1) the product was defective when it left the control of the manufacturer; (2) the defective condition was the proximate cause of the harm; (3) the condition would not have been corrected by actions described in directives issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the manufacturer; and (4) the aircraft was being used for a purpose and in a manner for which it was manufactured. Provides an alternative method to establish manufacturer liability where the manufacturer failed to provide reasonable warnings (unless such warnings would not have affected the conduct of the product user). Provides a third method to establish manufacturer liability where: (1) the manufacturer made an express warranty with respect to the product; (2) the warranty related to that aspect of the product which caused the harm; (3) the product failed to conform to the warranty; and (4) such failure was the proximate cause of the harm.

States that all actions for damages arising from a general aviation accident shall be governed by the principles of comparative responsibility. Provides that defendants in such actions are severally but not jointly liable for damages (except that manufacturers of airframes and systems or components of aircraft may be jointly and severally liable under certain circumstances).

Provides a 12-year limitation on liability of manufacturers. States that express warranties running for a longer period of time and the duty to provide additional warnings shall not be affected by such limitations. Allows awards of punitive damages. Prescribes a statute of limitations for such actions.

Preempts State laws to the extent that this Act establishes applicable rules or procedures.

Grants Federal district courts (concurrently with State courts) original jurisdiction (without regard to the amount in controversy) in all civil actions for damages arising out of a general aviation accident. Allows the removal of State actions to an appropriate Federal district court by any defendant. Prescribes venue restrictions.

Expresses the intent of the Congress that orders to pay reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, be enforced.